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Kenyan Plastic Bag Ban – two years on, there are some ups and downs

Plastic bag bans are much talked about but do they really work? Kenya banned plastic carrier bags two years ago and so far, it’s been pretty positive. If for nothing else, plastic bags have stopped showing up in cows’ stomachs.

Two years ago the country was dealing with a major plastic bag problem. The bags from supermarket mostly, were ending up all over the place. Clogging drain systems and worryingly being eaten by cows. More than half of the cows that lived near cities were found with bags in their stomachs which is not great. So the bags were banned.

Although not completely gone from the country, the major sources have been cut off. The government fines and even imprisons those who are caught dealing in plastic bags. Of course it’s not perfect, the alternative bag, which is recyclable, often ends up in the garbage due to lack of recycling infrastructure. There’s still a lot of work to do but there have been some positive results.

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